Enescu’s Violin Sonata no. 3 alongside four French masterworks at #EnescuOnline, wonderfully showcased by the Orchestre de Chambre Pelléas and conductor Benjamin Levy
Between June 4 and 7, the Enescu Festival Online presents a concert rich in nuances, performed by the Orchestre de Chambre Pelléas under the baton of Maestro Benjamin Levy and violinist Tasmin Little as a soloist. With a fail-safe repertoire ‘recipe’, the concert – presented on the Romanian Athenaeum’s stage at the 2019 George Enescu Festival – was both a critical and box-office success. The program opened with impressionist and neoclassical notes representative of the early twentieth century in The Sarabande by Claude Debussy (orchestrated by Maurice Ravel), Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano by George Enescu (orchestrated by Valentin Doni) and Ravel’s Tzigane, and concluded with a nod towards the French Romanticism – Emmanuel Chabrier’s Bourrée Fantasque (orchestrated by Thibaud Perrine) and the Symphony in C major by Georges Bizet.
Enchanting and open-minded, the musicians of the Orchestre de Chambre Pelléas decided at the very outset to create their own, very special world of music. Together with Benjamin Levy, conductor and performer as well, they dreamed of forming a chamber orchestra with its distinctive modus operandi and outlook, where they could breathe deeply the air of freedom, joy, and fraternity offered by chamber music but performed by a full-scale orchestra. It aims to be a democratic and independent ensemble, jointly managed by a committee of musicians whose sole motivation is the joy of performing, at the same time maintaining the highest demands of excellence.
Orchestre de Chambre Pelléas is also an ensemble turned towards discoveries and bringing renewed life to the French repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries, which are often forgotten. Finally, it is a historically informed ensemble, which has chosen to apply on modern-day instruments the discoveries made on period instruments. Today, more than ever, the musicians, conductor, the support team, as well as the many, many musical partners encountered throughout the twelve years of Pelléas’ existence, are living their dream, a sort of orchestral utopia where the quality of human relationships, the desire to enjoy and share the precious moments of a concert, their sensitivity to each other are still the most valued and fragile objectives to be attained.
Very active on lyrical and symphonic stages across Europe, Benjamin Levy has recently been invited by The Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Nederlandse Reisopera (Bizet, The Pearl Fishers in 2015), Théatre Stansilavsky – Moscow (Debussy, Pelléas et Mélisande, directed by Olivier Py) Moscow Philharmonic, Umeå Opera (Sweden), Icelandic Opera in Reykjavik (Mozart, Don Giovanni & Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin), Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Gelders Orkest, Residentie Orkest – The Hague, as well as Noord Nederlands Orkest and Orchestre de Bayonne with which he has started an ongoing collaboration. In France, he conducted numerous orchestras, among which the Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Opéra National de Lyon, Opéra de Rouen, Opéra National du Rhin, Opéra de Limoges, Théâtre National du Capitole de Toulouse. In 2005, he was awarded the “Musical Revelation Prize” by the French Union of Music Critics and in 2008 he received the ADAMI Young Conductor Award.
Tasmin Little is an English classical violinist. She is best known and widely acclaimed as a concerto soloist and also performs as a recitalist and chamber musician. She has released numerous albums, winning the Critics Award at the Classic Brit Awards in 2011 for her recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto. She has firmly established herself as one of today’s leading international violinists. She has performed on every continent in some of the most prestigious venues of the world, including Carnegie Hall, Musikverein, Concertgebouw, Philharmonie Berlin, Vienna Konzerthaus, Southbank Centre, Barbican Centre, and Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center and Suntory Hall. Tasmin’s concerto appearances include those with Adelaide Symphony, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bournemouth Symphony, Berliner Symphoniker, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, Poland, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, New York Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto – Casa da Musica, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Singapore Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, West Australian Symphony, and all the BBC Orchestras.